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CDC MMWR: Risk of Occupational-Acquired HIV is Low, Thanks to Infection Control

“Documented occupational acquisition to HIV infection in healthcare workers has become rare in the United States,” states the January 9th edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Since 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been notified of only a single confirmed case of HIV acquired occupationally in a healthcare worker. During 1985-1998, 57 confirmed cases of occupational HIV transmission were reported, with 84% caused by percutaneous puncture or cut.

Experts attribute the low transmission rate to improved infection control and prevention strategies combined with widespread and earlier treatment of possible exposures. In 1987, CDC recommended the use of “universal precautions”, which was updated to “standard precautions” in 1995. Since 1996, CDC has recommended both occupational post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent infection and safety-engineered sharps to prevent punctures.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered dental continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

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